Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is essential for maintenance of healthy and strong bones and teeth while also helping with muscle function, nerve transmissions, hormonal secretion and blood clotting.
Calcium is extremely important in the diets of children and adolescents, ageing adults and post-menopausal women. A lack of calcium in the diet over a long period of time can cause osteopenia and eventually may lead to osteoporosis.
It is important to maintain a diet with sufficient Vitamin D in order to help calcium be absorbed in the body. Exposure to sunshine is a great way to soak up some Vitamin D. However, we must be mindful of our skin when exposed to sunshine and aim to refrain from becoming red or sun burnt. Food sources of Vitamin D include oily fish, dairy, fortified products and eggs. In Ireland, it is recommended that all babies 0 to 12 months should take a vitamin D supplement. Speak to your GP about this for individual advice.